On Saturday, October 23, the Getty Research Institute participated in the 5th Annual Archives Bazaar.

Organized by L.A. as Subject, a USC-hosted research alliance dedicated to improving the visibility, access, and prese­rvation of primary sources of Los Angeles history, the Archives Bazaar brings local libraries, archives, cultural and historical institutions together under one roof to spread the word about their unique collections. The event was free to the public. Scholars, researchers, archivists, librarians, students, and history enthusiasts showed up in large numbers!

The 5th Annual Archives Bazaar was held at the Doheny Memorial Library at USC. Photo: Michael Castro

The 5th Annual Archives Bazaar was held at the Doheny Memorial Library at USC. Photo: Michael Castro

L.A. as Subject was originally conceived in 1997 by the GRI as the Archives Forum. It supported a four-year research project, L.A. as Subject (1995–99) and published the book Cultural Inheritance/L.A.: A Directory of Less-Visible Archives and Collections in the Los Angeles Region (Getty Research Institute, 1999) and simultaneously released a companion online database of regional institutions.

The year’s Archives Bazaar was held at the beautiful Doheny Memorial Library at USC. It was the largest and best-attended Bazaar to date. The daylong event included various talks and panel discussions about history and current topics of Los Angeles. There were over 75 organizations hosting tables.

Our table was staffed by a variety of GRI staff, including reference librarians like myself. We talked to over 330 visitors, giving us the opportunity to reach out to the local community.

GRI staff at the Archives Bazaar

GRI staff at our booth at the Archives Bazaar. Left to right: Cyndi Shein, Beth Guynn, Emmabeth Nanol

The Archives Bazaar is an event where we can showcase our archival collections related to Los Angeles. We had a laptop slideshow to introduce collections that relate to L.A., such as the GRI’s Allan Kaprow papers, Charles Brittin papers, and the David Alfaro Siqueiros papers. A second laptop was used to show the Getty Research Institute’s Web site and to conduct library catalog searches when we received inquiries about our collections, such as the Julius Shulman Photography Archive and the Leonard Nadel papers.

GRI booth at the Archives Bazaar

Our booth, with some of the GRI’s print and digital publications

We promoted GRI resources, programs, and exhibitions with Research Library bookmarks, postcards for upcoming GRI-organized exhibitions such as Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology (opening on November 16), flyers, and buttons to advertise the forthcoming initiative Pacific Standard Time, Art in L.A. 1945–1980. We also showcased Getty publications such as the Getty Research Journal and El Pueblo: The Historic Heart of Los Angeles (2002). We encouraged people to sign up for GRI e-news so they can stay up-to-date with the GRI’s offerings.

We had a great time talking with the visitors. It was also a great way to meet (and reconnect) with our professional colleagues throughout Southern California and to learn about their collections.

We hope to see some (if not all) of the people we spoke with at the Archives Bazaar again. Hopefully next time it’s at the GRI while they’re exploring our library resources, exhibitions, and public programs!

Were you at the Archives Bazaar? What did you think of the event? What was your favorite collection?